It had almost been one year since my 43 year old brother died from a 10 day “battle” with brain cancer, and self care wasn’t anywhere on my to-do list. Thank goodness for the reminder card from my OBGYN. I was a year overdue for my mammogram. Being only 41 so I wasn’t used to the process, or too worried about it either. But low and behold, just a few days after my first mammogram, I received the news, cancer in my right breast. In the weeks to follow I underwent an MRI (something I strongly recommend) that picked up a BIGGER tumor that the mammogram had missed. That finding made the course of treatment easy. Mastectomy here I come, and yes I wore lipstick!
Because the cancer was stage 0, and non aggressive, I didn’t have to undergo radiation or chemotherapy. I chose reconstruction, and other than the discomfort of the tissue expander, it was relatively a breeze. Two weeks after my mastectomy I was Christmas shopping and I was on the road to recovery!
Four years later, deja vu! My left breast had two small tumors, two different types of cancer, with a third type brewing. Here we go again! Mastectomy number 2, with reconstruction following. I knew the drill, so this time around it wasn’t as daunting. Reconstruction as easier this time, recovery seemed easier. It was different this time however. This time I was doing it alone. My husband and I were going thru a divorce.
In the next few months I healed, physically and emotionally and as my life was showing signs normalcy, my sweet mom was diagnosed with stage 4 breast cancer. Just when I think I can’t possibly endure one more life event, kaboom. This one hit like a freight train. Don’t ever underestimate what you are capable of….it’s really quite surprising how strong and resilient we can be.
There is so much more to “my story” but I wanted to keep it on track. I was going thru so much at once with my mom, my divorce, it was like a bad movie. looking back I have no idea how I got thru that time ….sense of humor and smiling…